Sunday, May 10, 2009

Star Trek

I'm sitting here with the new Star Trek movie fresh on my mind having watched it yesterday. Yeah, I'm a sucker for this type of movie although I missed the Transformers movie hype a couple years ago. I'll probably miss the the second one too. Looking at the line of of movies over the past couple years I get the feeling that the fertile ground of the '80's is still, well, fertile. Even a G.I. Joe movie has still to come out later this summer.

Me thinks Star Trek has a more of a special place in my heart then even I realized.

I went in to the movie expecting J.J. Abrams. Yep, that's it. None of that 'going into it with no expectations' thing. I expected J.J. Alias. J.J. Cloverfield, J.J. Fringe. He's a guy how has clearly defined interests. What I got from the new Trek film was mostly J.J. Trek. But that's OK, for it was just the fact that Kirk, Spock, Bones, and crew were all back again that had me hooked.

In the movie I felt there was a reverence for people who casually watched the re-runs of the original series. Kirk and Spock were characters that were almost real people who got invited into my home back when I was a kid. As time went by I never held any interest in the newer shows and after the first four movies only saw one. The lasting impression of Star Trek on my mind was the original series being rerun in a time slot after cartoons (G.I. Joe, Transformers) and before the Cosby Show on school nights. Sometimes it would be on during the weekend. I'd catch it after reading my comic books (Spider-man, X-Men) I picked up that Friday night.

What I'm working up to here is that seeing the original characters again got to me. The exchanges between all of them pulled on my heart strings. It wasn't over done in that way. It is a movie that stands on it's own two legs (well, J.J.'s legs, it even has the red ball doomsday device from Alias). But, honestly, my eyes teared up more then a few times. Yikes!

I've read Ebert's review, read Wilonsky's, even checked out some of the crazed geek reviews like the one by MovieBob on from the Escapist. Between those three you get the actual movie. Ebert's is stuck in the social climate of the 60's, grrr. Wilonsky, again, gets it right for me. MovieBob? you're missing out. You deserve some of the thrashing you are getting.

The movie works. More then the short parables written into the original Trek series, Gene Roddenberry's Trek was about young people having a rip roaring time in a positive future set in space. Since that original series is now long ago we forget that. Buried under countless half wit spin-offs, aged actors and funny little Priceline commercials. But if you look far enough back, youthful energy is what it had and what Roddenberry wanted. J.J.'s movie puts them back there. Much like James Bond - J.J. succeeds in the fact that it is the written ideas and characters of Kirk, Spock and co. that make the story, not the actors. It's great.

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